Living in an apartment has its perks. If your roof caves in, you call the landlord. A homeowner would have to deal with this pesky problem themselves. Every month renters around the world move in and out without any plans to make the current or next space their own. Rental living comes with restrictions. Landlords certainly don’t want that hippie in 2B painting rainbows on the wall. Most landlords will not allow you to paint the walls or hang large artwork. Keeping the most common restrictions in mind, try a few simple tips to make your rental your own.
1. Add Color with Accessories
Bright pillows, colorful couches and storage items can liven up your space without breaking the rules or the bank. Even cookware comes in a variety of colors these days. Pick a color scheme, and search for the matching accessories to contrast against those vanilla walls. Search large home stores and online for the best colors. Instantly jazz up a hum drum couch with a few bold colored pillow. You also get the added bonus of a more comfy couch. You can find small novelty items in most home stores, discount stores or online as well. Buy two or three, group them together, and make those pieces into an art display.
2. Fabric is Your Friend
Use yards of fabric to add color or softness to a space. You can easily drape fabric over a table, dresser or couch. Use tapestries to separate spaces or cover a beat up couch. If you are decorating on a micro budget, use fabric to slip cover pillows as well. Simply wrap the pillow, and tie a knot in it to create a new, bright accent pillow. Turn the tied part to the back and only your closest friends will know your secret.
3. Don’t Forget the Floors
People often neglect floors. As long as something sticky or slippery isn’t on them, floors don’t get much attention in the apartment setting. Homeowners refinish hardwood floors or choose new carpet every few years. An apartment floor treatment is likely to be neglected as soon as it’s put in. As long as it doesn’t creek or crack no one cares. Show you floor some love. Find a plush rug to layer on your floor. The rug will add warmth and color to the area. Rugs are also useful for defining a specific area. If you have an all in one living, dining, kitchen space, a rug can convey a sense of separation between the areas.
4. Add Plants and Flowers
Plants spruce up any room and make your apartment feel lived in. Try small or medium-sized plants that fit your lifestyle. If you’re barely at home, or your thumbs are any color but green, buy a plant that doesn’t need constant nursing. Plants can sit on tables or remain freestanding. Buying fresh flowers and placing them in a vase also livens up a room. They add color, fragrant scents and life. Most markets and grocery stores have affordable flowers available.
5. Display Personal or Artistic Photos
Photo frames are available everywhere starting at the one dollar price point. Choose a frame that suits your taste and grab your favorite family portraits, candid photos of friends or travel pics. You still print them sometimes, right? Try adding photos in the living room, bedroom and even in the kitchen. Taking moody photos of tourist attractions or places around your hometown can add some artistic flair to your space. Don’t overlook converting your photos to sepia or black and white. Use available filters and photo editing apps to create an original piece of art for your apartment. For unique frames, try vintage and consignment stores. Cover an old frame in fabric or magazine print for a one of a kind, envy inducing creation.
6. Learn the Art of the Lean To
Large scale artwork hanging is usually a no go for apartment dwellers. Landlords hate two things– late payments and patching holes. Consider how simple and interesting it is to lean the artwork against the wall. The best look is generally with mid-sized pieces on a dresser or table. Having the artwork at eye level makes it appear to be a choice instead of a necessity. This method isn’t the best for heavy, glass framed artwork.
If you have a plastic framed poster or framed fabric, the look can work. Framed art posters, which art snobs detest, look way better, even in cheap frames. Kitschy plaques with slogans or funny pictures can be leaned on kitchen counters, shelves or night stands. Adding small, short items in front to act as a brace will keep the lean to from constantly falling. Bonus: It will look like you’re a master at creating intriguing vignettes. There are also free-standing easels to put your artwork or plaques on.
Living in a rental doesn’t have to be boring and restrictive. Think creatively to maximize the design potential of your digs. Whether you choose to use one or all of these methods to personalize your space, adding a few creative elements to your apartment will help it feel more like home.